The Car Geek: Who Topped The J.D Power & Associates 2007 APEAL Awards?

The Car Geek

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Who Topped The J.D Power & Associates 2007 APEAL Awards?

The results were released yesterday for the 2007 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudyTM. According to J.D Powers and Associates, Honda earned most of the awards more than any other vehicle brands with four model category honors this year. The study is being applied for 12 years now which evaluates the owner’s pleasure with the design, content, layout and performance of their new cars.

J.D. Powers and Associates’ Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) is being harmonized with the APEAL study which concentrates more on the problems encountered by car owners during the first three months of ownership. The study assesses the satisfaction of car owners with their brand new vehicle and how rewarding it is to own and drive these vehicles.

The four top cars from Honda are the Honda Fit, CR-V, Ridgeline Truck and the Odyssey. Mercedes-Bens and BMW got three segment awards apiece. Ford earned two awards together with Nissan and Volkswagen. The Series, 6 Series and the X5 models for BMW; the Mustang and Edge for Ford; the E-Class, S-Class and the GL-Class for Mercedes Benz; the Jetta and the GTI for VW; and the Altima Sedan and the Armada for Nissan Motors.

“Vehicle models with strong customer appeal tend to be in higher demand, which diminishes the need for dealers to incentivize to boost sales,” said Neal Oddes, the director of product research and analysis at J.D. Power and Associates. “Offering larger incentives decreases the profitability of vehicles, so it’s important for manufacturers to incorporate those ‘must-have’ features and design elements that will entice buyers, which also reduces the need for large customer cash rebates.”

The Nissan Armada tops in its segment for four years in a row. A number of models, including the Ford Mustang, Honda Ridgeline and the Honda Odyssey, ranked highest in their particular division for their third consecutive year. On the other hand, the Hyundai Azera and the Porsche Cayman earned awards for the second straight year. The Mustang and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class topped in their category in both the APEAL study and the IQS.

“Whether due to fresh designs or innovative features, APEAL scores tend to be highest for models when they are first introduced,” said Oddes. “It’s essential for manufacturers to get new-vehicle launches right, since vehicles with high appeal scores generally command a higher gross profit and sell more quickly. Two of the redesigned models - the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (in a tie) and Honda CR-V - also earned awards in the 2007 Initial Quality Study, and are examples of how manufacturers can learn from preceding models to improve in both initial quality and appeal.”